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Meaty Sloppy Joes made in the crock pot are easy to make and loaded with rich flavors. Slow cooked with brown sugar, ketchup, tomato sauce and spices this homemade recipe is a meat lovers dream. A great, budget friendly dish that’s ideal for a weeknight meal, parties or when you’re feeding a crowd!
Once you’ve tasted “from scratch” Sloppy Joes, you’ll never go back to the canned stuff. Not only is the flavor over the top amazing, they are so easy to make you’ll wonder why you waited to long to give this homemade version a try. Simmering the Sloppy Joes in the slow cooker brings out all the flavors of the spices making this a recipe that you’ll make time and time again.
Last week I made a double batch of Crock Pot Sloppy Joes for our annual Fantasy Football Draft Party. We’ve been hosting this same group of guys for over 10 years and draft night is always so much fun. This year, I decided to do a test run on the guys with my new recipe for Sloppy Joes. I knew I had a hit on my hands when Jeff and Mike walked in the door and yelled, “Southern Soul…whatever you’re cooking smells amazing and we sure do hope it’s for us!” I assured them I indeed had something special cooking, just for them. When break time rolled around, everyone grabbed a plate, a couple of buns and ladled on the meaty mixture. I served my Sloppy Joes with pickles and a fresh salad tossed with 1000 Island Dressing. My recipe was a hit and now, we just need to see who drafted the best team.
What you’ll need to make Crock Pot Sloppy Joes:
- sandwich bread
- ground beef
- vegetable oil
- chili powder
- tomato sauce
- brown sugar
- salt and pepper
How to make this recipe:
- Start by tearing the bread into pieces and soaking it in milk. This may sound a bit strange but it’s an important step, so, make sure you don’t skip it. It makes the Sloppy Joes thick and the sauce extra rich.
- Next, saute the meat, onions and garlic until browned.
- Now, this is where things come together. Transfer the meat mixture to the crock pot. Add in all the remaining ingredients, stir and set the temperature and timer.
- When it’s time to serve, skim off any fat with a large spoon. Adjust the seasoning and ladle onto buns.
- This recipe can be doubled for serving a crowd. It also freezes beautifully for a make ahead meal.
Want more Crock Pot recipes? Check out these tried and true favorites…
- Crock Pot Lemon Chicken
- Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan
- Crock Pot Chicken Thighs
- Crock Pot Country Style Pork Ribs
- Busy Day Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- 5-Ingredient Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken
- 2 slices sandwich bread – torn into pieces
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion – finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic – minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- In a medium size bowl, mash together torn bread and milk. Mix in with ground beef.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in onions and cook until softened. Add in garlic and chili powder and cook for 2 minutes. Add in ground beef mixture and cook until browned. Break up any large chunks of meat with a wooden spoon or potato masher.
- Transfer meat mixture to slow cooker. Add in tomato sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cover with lid. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or 3-5 on high.
- When done, skim off any fat that's collected with a large spoon and discard. Adjust seasoning. Serve on warm buns.
- ***This recipe can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Want To Know More About Slow Cooking?
If you are new to cooking with a Crock Pot or just don’t know where to start, I’ve got something to help. I’ve put together a helpful guide with tips and recipes to get you using a slow cooker like a pro!
ThIis is a terrific recipe. It is easy to follow your directions. I get rave reviews whenever I make it. If you think you don’t like slppy joes, try this.It will win you over. Btw I usually make this on the stovetop for easier cleanup.
Hey there Leslie!
Wow! I am so happy to hear that you’ve been enjoying this recipe, making it on the stovetop for an easier cleanup is a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and for your phenomenal rating, I really appreciate your kind words and support! If you ever have any questions about a recipe, please don’t hesitate to ask, I’m happy to help!
The sloppy Joe recipe and picture look delicious. It’s making my stomach rumble. Why is there bread mixed with the ground beef? Please let me know.
Thank you so much, I appreciate your kind words! That’s a great question. I like to combine the bread and milk with my ground beef because it soaks up the cooked off fat from the beef and thickens up the sloppy joes, it’s pretty much the same idea as adding bread crumbs to meat balls. I really hope you enjoy this recipe, let me know how you like it!
Have a great rest of your day!
your recipe instructions said to Add in garlic and chili powder and cook for 2 minutes, but there isn’t any garlic or amount of garlic listed in the recipe.
Thank you. It’s all fixed now. Have mercy, how could I forget the garlic? That’s one of the best flavors.
Have a wonderful day,